Between 300 and 400 DSL users in four cities affected by outages
due to technology problem
By Stephanie Condon Special to the dispatch
San Martin – Hundreds of DSL users in at least four cities went without Internet service this week, due to a problem with Verizon technology that has been interrupting users’ service since Tuesday.
As many as 300 or 400 DSL users in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos and Manteca were affected by outages, estimated South Valley Internet, the main provider of high speed Internet service to those cities. The Internet provider first started receiving complaints about the problem Tuesday afternoon, said SVI General Manager Elise Brentall-Alexander.
She said SVI determined Tuesday evening that it was limited to customers whose service is provided through “frame technology.” The outages were caused by a problem with Verizon technology, but Verizon did not acknowledge a problem until Thursday morning, Brentall-Alexander said. Verizon has identified that the root cause of the outages was probably a problem with a “trunk,” a communications tool used to transmit data.
“The issue is on the Verizon side,” Brentall-Alexander said Friday. “We are working together to restore service to our customers as soon as possible. We’re doing as much as possible on our end to help facilitate by giving them information.”
Verizon media relations manager Kevin Laverty said that the problem could potentially be affecting other ISPs, but that South Valley is clearly the most heavily impacted.
“There was some type of bad circuit, and what we’re trying to do is isolate it and resolve it,” Laverty said. “We don’t have an estimate of when it will be resolved.”
SVI utilizes Verizon’s infrastructure to provide its customers with DSL, as Verizon owns all the lines and hardware capable of providing DSL in the area. However, the problem only affected customers with frame technology, one of two technologies Verizon utilizes to provide DSL. Brentall-Alexander said customers do not have a say in what technology by which their service is provided, but that most customers can tell they have frame technology if they have a grey modem box, typically manufactured by Sujitsu. SVI is not the only ISP in South Valley, Brentall-Alexander said, but most of the others provide just wireless Internet, not DSL.
“When Verizon identified the problem, they started restoring customer service,” Brentall-Alexander said Friday. “They told us they’d have it all restored by one or two this morning, but a significant number of customers’ service failed again today.”
By Friday afternoon, however, Verizon had restored service to additional customers.
In Morgan Hill Booksmart was without service, but City Hall – which uses SVI and Verizon – and the Chamber of Commerce, never lost service.
Karin Conrad, the owner of Ina Bina, Inc. in Morgan Hill, said her service was disrupted Wednesday but was restored Friday morning. She said the problem did have some effect on her business, which provides screen printing, embroidery and full promotional products with in-house production capability.
“We do have a lot of customers who are dealing with us through e-mail,” Conrad said. “People send us art files back and forth online so it delayed our production flow a little bit. We used the time to catch up with other things.”
Brentall-Alexander explained that the problem did not affect phone services since the trunking issue only affected data – not voice – transmission.
“SVI has been in business for 12 years, and we’ve never experienced an outage of this magnitude,” Brentall-Alexander said. “Our customers are our first priority. We do understand the impact this has on many of our customers, and we are very sorry this situation has occurred.”